Q: How do I keep my tree fresh after I take it inside?
A: Your freshly-cut tree will drink a lot of water, particularly during the first week it's indoors. So, first, if your tree stand doesn't hold at least a gallon of water, get a new stand. Second, check the water level, particularly during that first week, when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed. And, third, don't forget to check (for example) on night #4, and then wake up to find that the water level has dropped and the cut surface of the tree bottom is exposed and the sap has dried. Not good.
Q: Should I add an aspirin (or any other substance) to the tree stand water to help the tree stay fresh longer?
A: Unless your tree complains of a headache, save the aspirin for yourself. Tree freshness is all about keeping enough water in the stand (and not forgetting to check before you go to bed on night #4).
Q: Should I make another cut on the tree trunk before I put it into the stand?
A: It's always good to cut off just enough of the trunk (1/4") so you expose a freshly-cut surface right before you put the tree into the water-filled stand. But, if you don't have a saw at home, just put it in the stand as is and don't worry about it.
Q: What should I do if I find that little spiders or praying mantises have hatched out in my tree?
A: Since we don't use pesticides that would kill these beneficial critters, there's always the possibility that an egg case can get carried inside along with the tree. Actually, at the Rosemont Tree Farm, we think of the webbing produced by the spiders as natural "angel hair" and that the praying mantises create their own little Nativity scene among the ornaments, and we just leave them alone. But, if that's not your thing, just use the crevice attachment of your vacuum cleaner to remove them. DO NOT run and grab that can of Raid you keep under the sink.
Q: I enjoy getting a fresh tree each year, but I can't help feeling a little funny about killing a tree.
A: That's not really a question, but we'll answer it, anyway. The tree you selected was planted as a seedling to be part of a crop at the Rosemont Tree Farm, and the harvesting of that tree is not a "killing" any more than pulling a carrot out of the ground, chopping it up and putting it into a salad would be a "killing" of that carrot. During the 8 to 12 years it took to grow to its present size that tree was part of a plantation that serves as habitat for an assortment of wildlife species, requires little pesticide use, protects the stability of the soil, and just looks nice up on that hillside. In about 4 months another seedling will be planted into the space created by the harvesting of your tree, and the process goes on and on.
Q: Do these trees just grow like this, or do you have to do something to them?
A: Transforming a spruce, fir or pine into a "Christmas tree" requires a lot of care, including the laborious, annual process of shaping and height correction that produces a tree that's full, but with hanging space for your ornaments.
Q: Isn't the weekend after Thanksgiving a little early to harvest a Christmas tree?
A: Nope. You have the best selection of trees on Thanksgiving weekend, and you get to walk out in the fresh air instead of fighting for a parking space at the mall. You then take the tree home, put it into a big bucket of water in a sheltered spot, and the tree will stay just as fresh as if it were still standing out in the field. Drying stress on the tree doesn't begin until you bring it into the warm and very dry air inside your house.